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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 17th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (5-2-0) at Colorado Avalanche (6-0-0), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The unbeaten Colorado Avalanche will try to match their best start in franchise history on Thursday night when they host an old foe in the Detroit Red Wings.
Under first-year coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche have won each of their first six games this season, putting the club on the verge of matching the franchise-best 7-0 start to the 1985-86 season by the Quebec Nordiques.
Colorado stayed unbeaten with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday over Dallas. Semyon Varlamov made 39 saves, the last coming just ahead of the final horn on the Stars' Alex Chiasson from the doorstep.
Matt Duchene scored twice to reach the 200-pont mark in his career and Jan Hejda added a goal.
By winning his first six games, Roy has matched Mario Tremblay for the most consecutive wins to begin a coaching career.
"It's not something I'm looking at. To be truthful, I'm not really excited about the record. I'm excited about how our team is winning, and any problems we can fix on Thursday (against Detroit)," Roy said.
Tremblay took over head coaching duties for the Montreal Canadiens six games into the 1995-96 campaign and won his first six contests. His No. 1 goaltender to begin his tenure with the Habs was Roy, though the two had a strained relationship.
It came to a head on Dec. 2, 1995, when Tremblay left Roy in net for nine goals in an 11-1 loss to the Red Wings. Roy was finally pulled in the second period and stormed past Tremblay on the bench. He was traded to Colorado four days after the incident and won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Avalanche.
Now Roy will get a chance to match Tremblay's mark against those same Red Wings, long a rival of the Avalanche. Detroit won all three meetings last season and has won seven of the previous 10 encounters overall.
However, with the Red Wings now shifted to the Eastern Conference due to realignment, the clubs meet just twice this season.
Varlamov has won all five of his starts this season with a 1.20 goals against average, but is 1-3-0 lifetime versus Detroit with a 3.40 GAA.
The Red Wings take aim at a fourth straight win tonight and are coming off Tuesday's 2-1 home victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Making his second straight start in place of the injured Jimmy Howard, Jonas Gustavsson made 36 saves in the win.
Howard was a late scratch in Monday's 3-2 win over Boston due to a bruised hand, with Gustavsson make 28 stops.
It is unknown if Howard will be able to play tonight and he is 7-2-1 with a 2.51 GAA in his career when facing the Avs. Gustavsson has never played against them.
Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi both had a goal in Tuesday's win. Alfredsson's goal was his first with the Red Wings.
Alfredsson, who signed with Detroit as a free agent his offseason after a lengthy career with Ottawa, potted his 427th career goal 5:05 into the contest.
"I thought we had a real good start to the game tonight," said Alfredsson. "We came out with a lot of energy and some patience and it paid off with that quick goal. Nice to get the first home in front of the fans."
Alfredsson went into the contest with five assists on the season.
10/17 10:55:02 ET
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